Varanasi: Huge quantities of flowers that are offered at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and other temples in Varanasi will no longer be thrown into the Ganga River.
These flowers will be turned into incense sticks by the women’s self-help groups and marketed globally by ITC.
The photograph of Kashi Vishwanath temple will be printed on the incense packets.
The projects is likely to be launched this month by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
According to the sources, over 12 tonne of flowers are offered at the Kashi Vishwanath temple every day. This quantity increases to 40 tonne every day during the month of ‘Saawan’.
Temple CEO Vishal Singh said that the project would not only make good use of flowers but would also provide employment to women.
“This will also solve the problem of disposal of wilting flowers. We cannot throw away the flowers because of the religious sanctity and this is the best way to use them. The temple will also get a share of royalty on the sale of incense sticks,” he said.
Interestingly, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation(LMC) has already moved into a collaboration with a city-based social enterprise to collect flowers for processing and making incense sticks.
Municipal commissioner Indramani Tripathi said that the plan is to make incense sticks and bio-compost from the collected floral waste.
Meanwhile, LMC has provided the enterprise space for processing of the waste.
In order to get scientific expertise on it, the corporation has also roped in Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMP).
According to the LMC sources, about 30-35 kg of incense can be made from a quintal of fresh flowers.
Harshit Sonker, founder of the social enterprise heading the project said, their aim is to make incense from at least 20 per cent of all flowers collected.
However, the initiative also aims at providing employment to more than 100 people.